Beginning with the Continental Congress in 1774, America's national
legislative bodies have kept records of their proceedings. The records
of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the
United States Congress make up a rich documentary history of the
construction of the nation and the development of the federal government
and its role in the national life. These documents record American
history in the words of those who built our government.
Books on the law formed a major part of the holdings of the Library of Congress from its beginning. In 1832, Congress established the Law Library of Congress as a separate department of the Library. It houses one of the most complete collections of U.S. Congressional documents in their original format. In order to make these records more easily accessible to students, scholars, and interested citizens, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75.
The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.
The Making of the U.S. Constitution
Timeline: American History as Seen in Congressional Documents, 1774-1873
The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States
Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784 to 1894
The Louisiana Purchase: Legislative Timeline - 1802 to 1807
Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865
The Impeachment Trial of President Andrew Johnson, 1868
Presidential Elections and the Electoral College, 1877
|Understanding the Collection
Working with the Collection
How to View: Text & Page Images
|The Library of Congress